Art of Relaxation Series: Mindfulness 101

Lara Murray-Sterzel, Staff Writer |

Our minds and bodies shouldn’t be taken for granted. We need to take care of ourselves at this age, because what we do now affects our bodies later in life. As for our minds, not only do they help us function, but they also develop our ideas and thoughts. But have you ever felt your mind takes too much control, or that our ideas and thoughts become bigger than they actually are? Lucky for us, we have the Counseling Center designed to help students with that problem. The Art of Relaxation Series: Mindfulness 101, held by the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, is where students get to learn about the complexity of our minds through discussions and activities. 

The event took place on Thursday, October 13, in the Hunt Union Square Room. The event was hosted by members of the Counseling Center who came to enlighten our Red Dragon students about the causes of stress management. During the event, the Counseling Center members talked about their experiences with stress and how they handle it. They also discussed mindfulness being an internal and external process to your surroundings. Studies have found that young adults become easily stressed over the past in the form of failures, mistakes, and fear. Our minds take over what we have the power to judge. But how do you overcome this? What is the best thing to do in a circumstance like this?  

The first method members suggested is the use of the radical acceptance strategy. Radical acceptance is when you embrace your surroundings, good or bad, and tolerate them without resistance. The other thing they suggested is using diaphragmatic breathing, the body’s most efficient way of taking oxygen in. Counseling Center members demonstrated this by putting on a YouTube meditation video where you’re easily guided into a calm state. The last thing they suggested was the art of meditation. Studies have found that meditating on a daily basis can calm the body mentally and physically. All you do is get into a comfortable sitting position, close your eyes, and breathe into your stomach slowly. After this, you’ll feel centered and more aware of your environment. Near the end of the event, the members pointed toward a table with coloring paper and crayons. According to them, coloring is another way for the mind to relieve itself from any negative thoughts. Students were encouraged to color for the remainder of the event. 

No student wants to feel stressed or overwhelmed during their college years; We’re young and our lives are just starting. We want to take our time and enjoy what is presented to us. However, in order for that to happen, we have to understand how to balance our stress. Only we have the power to control our minds and control our stress; So, why don’t we start balancing our stress together? If you or anyone you know needs help with stress management, please contact the Counseling Center to set up an appointment. 

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